25 April 2012

April feature continued: Places to visit in the United States to see works by Morris and Morris and Co.

United States - Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, New York to John F. Kennedy Library, Solano County, California. Both of these libraries have a Kelmscott Chaucer. Check out this blog updating who owns copies of the book. Of the 425 paper and 14 vellum copies, William S. Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson have been able to locate about "two-thirds." For more information, see:

20 April 2012

April feature continued: Places to visit in the United States to see works by Morris and Morris and Co.

Illinois - Augustana College. Rock Island, Illinois. Augustana College is featuring an exhibit titled "William Morris: Visions of An Ideal World" until 17 May. According to the Augustana College website, the exhibit includes works "produced by the Kelmscott Press, a private printing press started by Morris in 1891. Complementing the books will be Arts and Crafts objects from the Augustana College Art Museum. Other items in the display will show the beauty of Morris' designs for textiles and wallpaper as reproduced in contemporary books and on a calendar, scarf, china, tile, and container. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-midnight." For more information, visit:

19 April 2012

March Exhibit by 2012 WMS Award Winner a Success

Leslie Harwood at her Exhibition.

Last month, residents of Milwaukee could stroll down to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art History Gallery to see the exhibit “William Morris’ Earthly Paradise: Precursor to the Private Press Movement”. This was curated by Leslie Harwood, the 2012 winner of the William Morris Society Fellowship. We've written about her project here; the award went towards installation costs, and printing the lovely catalogue.

With the exhibition and catalogue, Harwood argued convincingly that the failure of the Chiswick Press to produce satisfactory trial pages of Morris and Burne-Jones's illustrated Earthy Paradise, followed by the failure of that whole project, strongly motivated Morris to found the Kelmscott Press. She also highlighted the influence of the Kelmscott Press over subsequent Arts & Crafts private presses.

The event showed off the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Special Collections, including The Earthly Paradise printed by the Kelmscott Press. Another crown jewel of the exhibition, loaned by the Milwaukee Public Library, was a fifteenth-century Venetian book (Hypnerotomachia Poliphili) that inspired Morris and Burne- Jones in their designs for the Kelmscott Press.

Harwood's illustrated catalogue is like an exhibit unto itself, and it gives a thorough background to the original Earthly Paradise project and the Kelmscott Press. It also considers the Vale Press, the Essex House Press, the Elston Press, and the Golden Cockerel Press in relation to the Kelmscott Press. Electronic versions of the catalogue are available free of charge, just contact Ms. Harwood at leslie.harwood@gmail.com.

Click 'Read More' to see photos of the event:

April feature continued: Places to visit in the United States to see works by Morris and Morris and Co.

On your way to visit William Morris Society president Margaretta Frederick at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, DE, take a trip to Arden, Delaware, founded in 1900 as a utopian community partially inspired by Morris's ideas. The community has a fascinating past. To quote from the Arden Artists website: "Arden was founded in 1900 by sculptor Frank Stephens and architect Will Price. They were part of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Philadelphia. Financial support for the project came from the soap-manufacturer Henry Fels." To learn more visit the website:

16 April 2012

Exhibition on Essex House Press

An Endeavour in Printing: highlights from the Essex House Press Collection
Court Barn Museum, Chipping Campden
26 April to 1 July 2012

The Essex House Press was a private printing press set up by the Guild of Handicraft. Its aim was to produce books using handmade paper, traditional printing and binding methods and often specially-designed typefaces. The Museum recently acquired the largest and most important collection of Essex House Press material.

The exhibition looks at highlights of the collection and provides an insight into Ashbee’s ideas and passions.

A catalogue including essays by Alan Crawford, Cameron O. Smith and David Lowden accompanies the exhibition.

Two Albion presses in the Guild’s workshops at Chipping Campden.

11 April 2012

April feature continued: Places to visit in the United States to see works by Morris and Morris and Co.

New Jersey -  The Stickley Museum and Craftsman Farms. Morris Plains, New Jersey. The Stickley Museum in Morris Plains is home to Gustav Stickley's country estate. It represents a great example of the American arts and crafts tradition. Known as "Craftsman Farms," Stickley Farms marked its hundredth anniversary in 2011. For Stickley, life, art, and beauty were inextricably intertwined.: “It is my own wish, my own final ideal, that the Craftsman house may so far as possible...be instrumental in helping to establish in America a higher ideal, not only of beautiful architecture, but of home life.” For more information, visit:

Preview of the exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Please join Historians of British Art and The English-Speaking Union for a preview of the exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde Thursday, May 24, 2012 6.30 - 8.30 pm.

In September 2012, Tate Britain (London) will open the much-anticipated exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde.  Inspired by early Renaissance painting and led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood rebelled against the establishment of the mid-19th century and became Britain’s first modern art movement. This major exhibition will bring together more than 150 works in different media, including painting, sculpture, photography, and the applied arts, revealing the Pre-Raphaelites to be advanced in their approach to every genre.  After closing at Tate in January 2013, this exhibition will move to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and then to Moscow and Tokyo.  Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde has been co-curated by Tim Barringer (Yale University), Jason Rosenfeld (Marymount Manhattan University, New York), and Alison Smith (Tate London).

This evening, co-curators Tim Barringer and Jason Rosenfeld will give U.S. audiences an early look at this important exhibition—addressing its key themes and its evolution as a project—during an informal, richly illustrated conversation at The English-Speaking Union in Manhattan.  Their lively discussion will be moderated by Peter Trippi, president of Historians of British Art and a co-curator of the recent touring exhibition J.W. Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite.  The conversation will be followed by a wine reception.


Dr. Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University.  Among his publications are Reading the Pre-Raphaelites (1998), Men at Work (2005), and Opulence and Anxiety (2007).  He co-curated Tate’s exhibition American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1825-1880 (2002), and also Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (Yale, 2007).  This year he contributed an essay to the catalogue accompanying the Royal Academy’s exhibition, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture.

Dr. Jason Rosenfeld is Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College. He authored the new monograph on John Everett Millais (Phaidon Press) and co-curated the Millais retrospective that toured the world in 2007-2008.  He contributed an essay to the monograph Stephen Hannock (2009, Hudson Hills Press), and is curator of that artist’s exhibition, presently on view at the Marlborough Gallery, New York, and then traveling to the Marlborough Gallery, London.


The English-Speaking Union
U.S. National Headquarters
144 East 39th Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues)
New York, NY 10016

Advance registration is required

$20 for members of HBA and ESU; $25 for non-members.

Payment may be made by credit card, or by check payable to “The English-Speaking Union.”

Checks should be mailed to Ms. Caitlin Murphy, The English-Speaking Union, 144 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016.  In all cases, you will receive a confirmation of payment if you have provided your email address.


For content-related questions, please email Peter Trippi at ptrippi@aol.com. For questions about payment, please email Caitlin Murphy at cmurphy@esuus.org.

John Everett Millais (1829-1896), Isabella, 1848-9, Oil on canvas, 102.9 x 142.9 cm, National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery

04 April 2012

The month of April will be dedicated to looking at places to visit in the United States to see works by Morris and Morris and Co.

MAINE - The Sarah Orne Jewett House (Writer, 1849-1909). South Berwick, Maine. Built in 1774, Jewett and her sister Mary updated the Greek revival house they inherited with many arts and crafts touches. According to the Historic New England website, "While the sisters retained earlier wallpapers in four rooms, they made a dramatic statement in the aesthetic style in the front hall, choosing a bold pattern of tulips on a reflective ground to complement a William Morris carpet in the 'Wreath' pattern." The website goes on to talk about how Mary removed the "Wreath" carpet after Sarah died, replacing it with another Morris carpet. The "Wreath" carpet ended up in a trunk, only being rediscovered a few years ago. For more information, visit: